Los Tiempos reports on high quality Bolivian wines; their mainly from Tarija department, the picture to the right was taken by Carlos Lopez; Ximena Gareca displays the wines; an article written by Gary Rojas:
Wines and singanis of Tarija conquered (in a short time and with specific qualities such as the aroma, flavor and technology) the sense of the best wine tasters in various festivals in the world. The main cause of these attributes: the location of the vineyards at altitudes between 1,600 to 2,850 meters above sea level.
Aware of this opportunity, the owners of ten wineries of Tarija joined efforts to propose something called: the high altitude wines and singanis [a product similar to the Peruvian pisco but with more grape flavor], a characteristic with which they are doing very well.
Since 2005, they obtained the gold and silver medals in competitions recognized by the International Wine Organization (OIV) in Belgium, Canada, France, Argentina, Chile, just to mention some countries.
Kholberg, Campos de Solana, Los Parrales, La Concepción, Aranjuez, Casa Grande, Santa Cruz Uvairenda, Magnus, Sausinni and Rujero are the wineries that produce a total of around six million liters per year.
To achieve this quality, the vineyards since they are beginning to grow are “pampered and treated in a personalized relationship worker-plant”, explained Ximena Pinedo, responsible for Agronomy of the winery La Concepcion, distant about 12 kilometres from downtown Tarija. About 400 years ago, Jesuits built monasteries, and left their best sowing: viticulture.
Advantages of high altitude
Due to the proximity of the wine plants with the Sun, the grapes in Tarija generate antioxidant material that prevents the aging of the species.
That same property is transmitted from the grape, to the wine and from wine to the person. Jorge Baracatt, Coordinator of the Fautapo Foundation explains; on the basis of studies such as “Tarija, city of wine of altitude” by Javier Belmonte, support this argument.
The producing houses succeed. Aranjuez, pioneer with the variety of tannat, produces in 100 hectares, around 800 thousand liters of wine per year. La Concepcion with the rosé and the tri-varietal as main products, reaches two million liters per year. Casa grande with its more than 15 varieties achieves the 500 thousand liters and Campos de Solana, singani Casa Real and the collection of high altitude as their star products, exceeds one million liters per year.
“There are more than 2,800 families working behind a glass of wine and despite not having a large volume of production, we stress the quality”, said the Manager of the National Association of Wine Industry (ANIV), Ricardo Ortuño.
Bolivian wines are conquering markets, we need to keep up with the quality, raise volumes and honor contract dates. For that to happen, the government has to enforce the law and keep blockades and strikes at their lowest. International markets do not understand of our ‘internal issues or the way we negotiate politics and infrastructure in Bolivia.” We have serious and strong worldwide competitors in Chile and Argentina.